"Godzilla" filmmaker Gareth Edwards has been tapped to direct a spinoff of "Star Wars," The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) and Lucasfilm Limited announced on the official Star Wars website Thursday.
"The Book of Eli" screenwriter Gary Whitta will write the script for the movie, which is scheduled to release on Dec. 16, 2016. The movie is being described as a stand-alone feature, in addition to the next three installments of the Star Wars franchise, starting with J.J. Abrams’ "Star Wars: Episode VII" that is slated to release in December 2015.
"Ever since I saw Star Wars I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life -- join the Rebel Alliance! I could not be more excited and honored to go on this mission with Lucasfilm," Edwards said, in the statement, while Whitta said: “From the moment I first saw the original movie as a wide-eyed kid, Star Wars has been the single most profound inspiration to my imagination and to my career as a writer.”
“It is deeply special to me, so to be given the opportunity to contribute to its ongoing legacy, especially in collaboration with a film-maker as talented as Gareth, is literally a dream come true. I'm still pinching myself," he said.
Legendary Pictures' Thomas Tull, who produced "Godzilla," reportedly commented on the news of Edwards working on the spinoff, saying, "Gareth's filmmaking talent makes him one of his generation's most creative and visionary directors. The plan has always been for Gareth to direct a different film before we started on another Godzilla, but who knew it would a Star Wars installment? We have a great plan in store for Godzilla fans and I am looking forward to seeing Gareth's imprint on the Star Wars universe."
According to reports, Edwards is attached to direct “Godzilla 2” and “Godzilla 3,” but the second installment of “Godzilla” does not yet have script.
While details about the “Star Wars” spinoff are yet to be revealed, it will reportedly feature popular characters such as Han Solo, Boba Fett, Yoda and Darth Maul. There are also rumors of a Han Solo origin story as well as untold adventures of Luke Skywalker.